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The Material Gospel - Matt Korniotes

Acts Chapter 10 Verses 1 – 8, Verses 19 – 26, Verses 36 – 44. This Cornelius was a good man, a man that revered and respected God, a man that shared his wealth with the poor and prayed to God always the scriptures tell us…but what intrigues me about this character is that when faced with an angel from heaven (the reality of an eternity), he is struck with fearand then we see him worship a man…He has this powerful belief, powerful enough to cause action in his life, reputable action…enough to give him a reputation…but in the application of that belief, something was way off…then Peter shares with him the simple gospel, and these words flow…, “Whoever believes in Jesus will receive remission of sins.” It’s then that the Holy Spirit enters the scene!


This scene, this character, this story is a powerful illustration of a chasm that you have to cross to be a Christian, to be involved and included in the grace of God through His Son Jesus the Savior…to go from a believer, maybe even a devout believer in God…to one who has received Jesus because we have GOT TO HAVE remission of sins…why? I want to share something with you just briefly this morning…because I am a lay-flat, gotta understand, explain it to me in simple terms kinda guy, I want to share with you what I call…, “The Material Gospel.” I call it that because this is the truth that I can grasp on to…get my hands around and simply understand…


Heaven was not made for man….earth was ours. Genesis 1:1, In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earthGenesis 1:26, Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth…!”

And finally Genesis 1:31, “Then God saw everything that He had made and indeed it was very good And so the earth was created in it’s perfect and wonderful form…then mankind was created, in perfect and wonderful form, in the very likeness of God, and the perfect earth was given to perfect man for a perfect dwelling placefor all of eternity…


You see you were made in such a way to continuously live…in a perfect earthly physical wonderful form…a perfect body made for a perfect earth, (remnants of this truth we can see even today. What happens when you get a cut on your arm? You heal!) in complete harmony with the spirit realm…God and man present together…things were spysical! God was alongside of man walking in the Garden in the cool of the day it says there in Genesis 3:8, and bringing the animals to man for them to name them it says there in Genesis 2:20but then something happened…


Sin happened! Perfection obliterated! Just as soon as God created man and gave man dominion over the earth, man kicked Perfection out! Rebellion, pride, disobedience and lust entered the blood stream…and all of a sudden, man has a problem! Eternal life on earth…lost! Man has no place any longer…Now man, you and I, Adam and Eve have a problem…now…we die!


First time in all of eternity this problem arises. Perfection between God the Father and His children broken…we divorced Him…and left ourselves orphans. 40 times in the Bible the “fatherless” are mentioned. Orphans…nowhere to go, nowhere to live forever…man is not fit for heaven, earth is fallen, death is now king…hell is the only option…that place created for the eternal banishment and condemnation of all that are evil…and so humans are lost, and out of options…but John 14:18, Jesus said, “I will not leave you as orphans!”


Heaven was locked to man. Not-for-man! And we hear the voice of God cry out…But I will not allow you to die fatherless, you mean too much to Me…you mean everything to Me…and so God unlocked heaven to manhow? Heaven is His, so He stepped into the skin of man! I love this! Heaven was not made for man and so God looked down on you and me and loved us so much that He said THEN ITS NOT MADE FOR ME EITHER!!


You see you don’t deserve heaven. It’s not for you. It’s completely locked to men…unless, you go by the way of the God/Man…the Son of God…Jesus Christ…THIS is why the Bible says that He has begotten us again…that He has adopted us into His inheritance…This is why the Bible says that Jesus is the door, THIS is why the prodigal son upon his return had to have the father’s signet ring and robe. This is why the Bible says that Jesus when He crushed the work of Satan that He led captivity captive!


This is why in John 17 Jesus prayed to the Father “Father I desire that they also whom You have given Me may be with Me where I am…” Where did He come from? Heaven! No man went to heaven, was allowed into heaven until Jesus, the God/Man gave His blood for us, washed away our sins, removed the enmity between God and man…wiped out sin! The thought, idea, notion, hope of going to heaven does not materially work without Jesus as the reason. This is why the veil was torn from top to bottom the moment Jesus died on the cross…the separation was removed…not that God could now come back to earth…earth is fallen! But that we could now go to Him in His house.


This is why Jesus said in John 14, “Be of good cheer, in My Father’s house are many mansions, I GO TO PREPARE A PLACE FOR YOU.” The implication? NO place was yet prepared! It makes so much practical sense…


This is why religion DOES NOT WORK. The math simply does not work. Man cannot be made right by himself. We cannot follow rules to the point of forcing heaven to accept our sinful state…doesn’t work. Only God Himself has that authority to freely enter heaven because heaven is HIS! Jesus said no one come to the Father except through Me! The door, the veil, the signet ring , the one way, the one truth, the one life, the God Man!


You see it is so very clear! We must we must we must call upon the name of Jesus because we cannot stay here! No one does! And if sin remains then our only option is hellno sin shall inherit the kingdom of God. The entirety of our darkness must be dealt with…goods can’t outweigh bads…there must be no bads or we are lost…that’s a tall order!


Perfection!? That’s what’s required? Yep…but I can’t do that…exactly; you can’t but Jesus did. He was born a man, under the law, under the shadow and requirement of the Ten Commandments, those rules laid out to instruct men in the way of perfection…those rules that every man of all times has continually broken…and therefore all have died > because the wages of sin are death...but Jesus, born a man, born under the law, under the shadow of the law, lived perfectly and His life satisfied the law…life eternal again on earth…but then why did He die? IN YOUR PLACE. He offered Himself a living sacrifice to right as a man what man had wronged…He provided a way for the sin of any man or woman to be remised (cancelled in whole), rolled back, eradicated for eternity through justice as He paid our death…but yet, love wins…after He suffered death for the sins of the world, not His own…He proved the door to heaven is now unlocked as He raised Himself in the flesh and ascended to the Father in heaven!

The Material Gospel…heaven was not for us, earth was…and yet we lost it…stuck in our sin debt with no way to pay…we are all orphans and somehow deep down, we know it…but God loves so much that He fixed our disease…paid our debt and gave us a home that isn’t hell…but it cost Him everything…